Poems from the Girl Next Door: Imaginations, Illusions and Images

The first poem in this debut collection from Sacramento native Aprille C. Jenkins highlights what’s best about her poetry: a sharp sense of language as a way to express an even sharper sense of self. “Rebel Yell: A Letter To My Hair” evokes justifiable comparisons to poets like Lucille Clifton and Wanda Coleman, as Jenkins offers an apology to her hair, which refused to be processed and hot-combed into submission. “I’m so sorry I muffled your every attempt to / speak to me” she writes, and we know at last she’s listening. Unfortunately, some of the longer pieces have a tendency to be weighted down by emotion, rather than gliding atop it. Jenkins is at her best with her smart and short jabs at broken hearts and self-importance—some of which have graced SN&R’s Poet’s Corner.